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tv   President Biden Delivers Remarks on Mass Shootings Gun Legislation  CSPAN  June 6, 2022 12:00am-12:20am EDT

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pres. biden: memorial day this past monday, jill and i visited arlington national cemetery. as we entered those hello grounds, we saw rows of crosses. among the rows are emblems a belief honoring those who paid the ultimate price of battlefields around the world. the day before, we visited uvalde. uvalde, texas. in front of robb elementary
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school, we stood before 21 crosses for 19 third and fourth graders and two teachers. on each cross a name. and nearby a photo of each victim that jill and i reached out to touch. innocent victims murdered in a classroom have been turned into a killing field. standing there in that small town, like so many communities across america, i could not help but think there are too many other schools, too many other everyday places that have become killing fields, battlefields here in america. we stood at such a place 12 days before, across from her grocery store in buffalo, ny, memorializing ten fellow americans, a parent, grandparent, sibling, gone forever. in both places, we spent hours
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with hundreds of family members who were broken, whose lives will never be the same. they have one message for all of us. do something. just do something. for god's sake, do something. after columbine, after sandy hook, after charlston, after orlando, after las vegas, after parkland, nothing has been done. this time that can't be true. this time we must actually do something. the issue we face is one of conscience and common sense. for so many of you at home, i want to be very clear. this is not about taking way anyone's guns. it's not about vilifying gun owners. in fact, we believe we should be treating responsible gun owners as an example of how every gun owner should behave.
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i respect the culture and the tradition and the concerns of lawful gun owners. at the same time, the second amendment, like all of the, is not absolute. it was justice scalia who wrote " like most rights the rights granted by the second amendment are not unlimited." not unlimited. it never has been. there have always been limitations on what weapons you can own in america. for example, machine guns have been federally regulated for nearly 90 years. this is still a free country. this is not about taking way anyone's rights. it is about protecting children, about protecting families, about protecting whole communities. about protecting our freedom to go to school, to a grocery store, to a church without being shot and killed.
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according to new data just released by the centers for disease control and prevention, guns are the number one killer of children in the united states of america. the number one killer. more than car accidents, more than cancer. over the last two decades, more school aged children have died from guns and on -- than on duty police officers an active duty military combined printing about that. more kids than on duty cops killed by guns. more kids than soldiers killed by guns. for god's sake, how much more cartage are we willing to accept? how many more innocent lives must be taken before we say enough, enough? i know we can't prevent every tragedy but here is what i believe we have to do. here's what the overwhelming majority of american people
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believe you must do it here is what the families in buffalo and uvalde in texas told us we must do. we need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. if we cannot ban assault weapons we should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21. strengthen background checks, enact red flag laws, repealed the immunity that protects gun manufacturers from liability, address the mental health crisis , speaking to the trauma of gun violence and the consequence of that violence. these are rational, commonsense measures. here's what it all means. we should reinstate the ban on high-capacity magazines we passed in 1994 with bipartisan support in congress, and the support of law enforcement. nine categories of semi
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automatic weapons were included. like ak-47's and ar-15's, and in the 10 years it was law mass shootings went down but after republicans let the law expire in 2004, those weapons were allowed to be sold again, mass shootings tripled. those are the facts. a few years ago, the family of the inventor of the ar-15 said he would've been horrified to know his design was being used to slaughter children and other innocent lives. instead of being used as a military weapon on the battlefield as it was designed. enough. enough. we should limit how many rounds a weapon can hold. why in god's name should an ordinary citizen be able to purchase an assault weapon that holds 30 round magazines that led mass shooters fire hundreds
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of bullets in a matter of minutes. the damage was so devastating at uvalde, parents had to do dna swabs to identify the remains of their children. nine and 10 year old children. enough. we should expand background checks to keep guns out of the hands of felons and fugitives and other -- those with restraining orders. stronger background checks are something the vast majority of americans, including the majority of gun owners agree on. i also believe we should have safe storage laws and personal liability for not liking up -- locking up your gun. the shooter sandy hook came from a home full of guns. where he had -- they were too easy to access. that is how we got the weapon to kill his mother and then murder 26 people including 20 first-graders. you own a weapon.
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you have a responsibility to secure it. every responsible gun owner agrees to make sure no one else could have access to it. lock it up. trigger locks. and if you don't, and something that happens, you should be held responsible. we should also have national red flag laws so that a parent, teacher, counselor can flag for a court that a child, student, patient is exhibiting violent tendencies, threaten classmates, or experience an suicidal thoughts. that makes them a danger to themselves or others. 19 states and the district of columbia have red flag laws. the delaware law is named after my son, beau biden. fort hood, texas, 2009, 13 dead and 30 injured. marjory stoneman douglas high school and parkland florida. 2018. 17 dead, 17 injured.
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in both places countless others -- suffered with invisible wounds, red flag laws could have stopped both of these shooters. in uvalde, the shooter was 17. he asked his sister to buy him an assault weapon because he was too young to purchase one. she refused. but as soon as he turned 18 he purchased two assault weapons for himself because in texas you can be 18 years old and buy an assault weeping even though you cannot buy a pistol in texas until you are 21. we can't ban assault weapons as we should we must at least raise the age to purchase one to 21. look, i know some folks will say 18-year-olds conservative military and fire those weapons. that is with training and supervision. from the best trained experts
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in the world. don't tell me raising the age will not make a difference. enough. we should repealed the liability shield. the law that protects manufacturers from being sued for death and destruction caused by their weapons. they are the only industry in this country that has that kind of immunity. imagine if the tobacco industry had been immune from being sued where we would be today. the gun industry's special protections are outrageous. it must end. let there be no mistake about the psychological trauma gun violence leaves behind. imagine being that brave little girl in uvalde who smeared off her murdered friends body onto her own face to lie still among the corpses in her classroom and pretend she was dead in order to stay alive. imagine. imagine what it would be like for her to walk down the hallway
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of any school again. imagine what it is like for children who experience this kind of trauma every day in the school and streets and communities all across america. imagine what it is like for so many parents to hug their children could buy in the morning not sure whether they will come back home. unfortunately, too many people do not have to imagine that all. -- at all. even before the pandemic people were already hurting. there was a serious youth mental health crisis in this country. we have to do something about it. that is why mental health is the heart of my unity agenda that i laid out in the state of the union address this year. we must provide more school nurses and more mental health services for students and for teachers, more people volunteering as mentors to help young people succeed, more privacy protection and resources to keep kids safe from the harms of social media. this unity agenda won't fully
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heal the wounded souls, but it will help. it matters. i will just tell you what i do. the question is what will the congress to? the house of representatives passed key measures we need. expanding background checks to cover nearly all gun sales, including at gun shows and online sales. getting rid of the loophole that allows a gun sale to go through even if the background check has not been completed. the house is signing more action next week. safe, storage requirements banning of high capacity magazines and raising the age to buy assault weapons to21. red flag laws. codifying my ban on ghost guns that do not have serial numbers and cannot be traced. and tougher laws to perfect gun trafficking. this time we have to take the time to do something.
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and this time it is time for the senate to do something. but, as we know, in order to do, get anything done in the senate we need a minimum of 10 republican senators. i support the bipartisan efforts that include small group of democrats and republican senators trying to find a way. but, my god, the fact that the majority of the senate republicans don't want any of these proposals, even to be debated or come up for a vote, i find unconscionable. we can't fail the american people again. since uvalde, just over a week ago, there have been 20 o ther mass shootings in america. each with four or more people killed or injured, including yesterday at a hospital in tulsa, oklahoma. a shooter deliberately targeted a surgeon using an assault weapon he bought just a few
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hours before his rampage and left the surgeon and another doctor, a receptionist, and a patient dead and many more injured. that doesn't count the carnage we see every single day that does not make the headlines. i've been in this fight for a long time. i know how hard it is but i will never give up. if congress fails, i believe this time the majority of the american people won't give up, either. i believe the majority of you will turn your outrage into making this issue central to your vote. enough, enough, enough. over the next 17 days, the families in uvalde will continue burying their dead. it will take that long apart because it is a town where everyone knows everyone and day by day they will honor each when they lost. jill and i met with the owner and staff of the funeral home that was being strong, strong,
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strong to take care of their own and the people of uvalde mourn as they do over the next 17 days, what will we be doing as a nation? jill and i met with the sister of the teacher sho was murdered and who husband died of a heart attack two days later. leaving behind four beautiful orphaned children. the sister asked us, what could tell her nieces and nephews, s ome of the most heartbreaking moments i can remember. all i could think to say was to say, i told her to hold them tight. hold them tight. after visiting the school, we attended mass at sacred heart catholic church with father eddie. in the pews, families and friends help each other tightly. as the archbishop spoke, he as
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ked the children in attendance to come up and sit on the altar with him as he spoke. there was not enough room. so mom and her son sat next to jill and me in the first pew. as we left the church, a grandmother who had just lost her granddaughter passed me a handwritten letter. it read quote "erase the visible line that is dividing our nation. come up witha solution and fix what is broken. make the changes that are necessary to prevent this from happening again." end of quote. my fellow americans, enough. enough. it is time for each of us to do our part. it is time to act. for the chilled we have lost, for the children we can save, for the nation we love. let's hear the call and the cry. let's meet the moment. let us finally do something.
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god bless the families that are hurting. god bless you all. from hymn based on the 91st psalm "may raise you up on eagles wings and barrio on the breath of dawn and make you to shine like the sun and holder in the palm of his hand." that is my prayer for all of you. god bless you. >> mr. president. [shouting questions, indiscernible] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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read. the gentleman is recognized to speak on his amendment. >> i believe one of the greatest threats to the second amendment, gun owners, public safety right now, the negotiations going on in the united states senate to potentially adopt red flag laws.


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